Is it a happy accident that at least 5 of the best London ice cream parlours are within strolling distance of Babes HQ? Discovering two of my favourite ice cream shops on the same stretch of road (Upper St), gave me a lightbulb moment.
How about we go on a London Ice Cream Crawl across the capital, kicking off at our neighbourhood spot, Udderlicious?
I’d planned to launch this last year but life (my mother’s funeral, travelling etc.) got in the way. So this July, on probably the hottest day of the year, we are officially getting our London Ice Cream Crawl on!
Come hail or shine, the babes and I will be licking our way around the Capital throughout the summer and beyond. Why not join us? We’ve listed 25 London ice cream parlours and carts across town. Get stuck in!
London Ice Cream Crawl: Lick the City!
Udderlicious, 187 Upper Street, London, N1 1RQ (Highbury & Islington tube)
Homemade ice cream using organic ingredients and real fruit. Udderly delicious, naturally. Visitors can choose a Flavour of the Month or come up with their own combos. One of Jed’s buddies suggested their Apple Crumble & Custard ice cream. A super sweet shop on Upper St with bench outside and swing seat indoors where you can chillax with the N1 movers and shakers. Now also in Covent Garden.
Amorino, 110 Upper Street, N1 1QN, Islington (Angel/Highbury & Islington tube)
Ice cream macarons? Come to mama! Amorino makes artisanal gelato with a range of exotic flavours, although the babes are strictly vanilla. Amorino launched in Paris and has stores across the UK and Europe. We love to dip into their Islington branch; also find them in Camden, Charing Cross, Covent Garden, Soho, Chelsea, Fulham and Westfield Stratford.
Marine Ices, 61 Chalk Farm Road NW1 8AN (Chalk Farm tube)
A North London institution, they used to run a popular family friendly restaurant with yummy pizzas. But they’ve closed that to focus on what they do best: serving up authentic Italian gelato as they’ve done since 1931. 40 flavours to please all tastes, grab a cone and go for a stroll to nearby Primrose Hill, or as a pre-theatre treat before an outing at the Roundhouse (home of Camden Beach in summer).
Ruby Violet, Midland Goods Shed, 3 Wharf Road, London N1C 4Bz (Kings Cross St Pancras Tube) + 118 Fortess Road, London NW5 2Hl (Tufnell Park/Kentish Town Tube)
The well loved ice cream shop in Tufnell Park recently opened an outpost in King’s Cross. It’s a lovely, intimate venue where you can indulge in weekly specials (watermelon and mint granita?) of dairy ice cream made in small batches, or fresh fruit sorbets. Or why not make an event of it with cocktails or an ice cream masterclass? Their ice cream cakes are da bombe, baby.
Chin Chin Laboratories, 49-50 Camden Lock Place, London, NW1 8AF (Camden Town tube/Camden Rd overground)
Red Velvet sundae, Valrhona Chocolate… just a sample of the quirky flavours on offer from the Chin Chin Labs. The famous ‘nitro ice cream’ specialists has been described as the ‘future of ice cream’ and it’s certainly an experience. They’ll cook up your ice cream from scratch, right in front of your eyes, using liquid nitrogen — apparently fresher and healthier than the regular stuff. Their ice cream sandwiches are a thing of beauty. Perfect complement to your Camden Market eye candy. Also on offer at Street Feast night food markets.
East London & South East London
Greedy Goat at Borough Market, 8 Southwark Street, SE1 1TL (London Bridge tube/rail)
Lactose-light ice cream made entirely from goat’s milk (no ‘kidding’, ahem), whipped up at the Goat Shack from 100% British ingredients. Classic concoctions include Gin & Tonic, Rum and Grazin’ and, wait for it… Billi Vanilli. Worth a trek to Borough Market if you’re after a dairy free dessert (available Wed-Sat).
Gelateria 3Bis, 4 Park St, Borough Market SE1 9AB (London Bridge tube/rail)
Artigianalita. It means craftsmanship, and it’s the heart and soul of Gelateria 3Bis where the chefs make small batches of fresh gelato from seasonal ingredients every day, and the sorbets are more than 50% fruit. High quality ices approved by real Italians with products sourced from the old country, along with some proper British ingredients. Rhubarb anyone?
Black Vanilla, 5 College Approach, Royal Borough of Greenwich, SE10 9HY (Cutty Sark DLR)
Next time you’re planning a day out at the Cutty Sark or any of the Royal Greenwich Museums, add Black Vanilla to your to-do list.
This top rated gelateria creates luxury gelato using all-natural ingredients, handcrafted to perfection. Here you can indulge in fancy flavours like Eton Mess gelato and Pimms & Lemonade sorbet. Cheers! Second branch in Blackheath.
La Grotta Ices, Neal’s Yard Dairy, Unit 6 Dockley, Dockley Road, Bermondsey SE16 3SF (Bermondsey tube)
We love the sound of the flavour fusions at La Grotta Ices, Garriguette Strawberry and Vanilla, Apricot and Fresh Honey ice cream, Pink Grapefruit and White Wine sorbet… although we’ll skip the Japanese Knotweed ice cream, thanks (a one-off experiment for an arts festival). The roving ice cream Piaggio scooter makes regular Saturday stops at Spa Terminus, or you can pick up a tub at shops listed on their Tumblr. Follow @LaGrottaIces on Instagram or Twitter to stay in the mix.
La Gelatiera, 1 West Park Walk, East Village – Stratford, E20 1DH (Stratford tube/overground/DLR)
The multiple award-winning gelateria recently opened its store in East Village, winningly close to the Olympic Park. Inspired by the Slow Food philosophy, La Gelateria churns their gelato on the premises and you can watch — it’s been described as ‘food as art’. I’m all over their Vanilla mananara, slightly more wary of the critically acclaimed Basil and Chilli or Porcini chocolate cream (!) and totally tempted by the Peach Bellini and Mojito Rum sorbet. Look out for their original store in Covent Garden and their Sunday carts at Brick Lane (by Sclater St).
Fortnum & Mason: The Parlour, Fortnum & Mason
181 Piccadilly, W1A 1ER (Piccadilly Circus/Oxford Circus tube)
One of these days I will dress the boys all fancy and book a double date with my handsome chappies at Fortnum & Mason’s The Parlour. One of the swankiest ice cream joints in town, it’s fun to kit the kids out for an extra special treat. Try the ‘50s classic Knickerbocker Glory or Build Your Own Sundae, and top it all off with artisan coffee, scones or sandwiches for an ice cream afternoon tea experience.
Freggo, 27–29 Swallow Street London W1B 4QR (Piccadilly Circus tube)
Freggo prides itself on its ‘so cool it’s hot’ reputation. It’s a staple for Soho clubbers but equally appealing to families wandering by in the daytime, or before hitting a West End show. Why not go all out with a hot pancake, ice cream and dulce de leche feast, or stick to a traditional two scoops of cream with chocolates crumbled on top. Mmm.
Scoop Brewer St, 53 Brewer Street, W1F 9UY (Oxford Circus/Piccadilly Circus tube)
Raw ingredients from around the world go into this artisanal gelato, created in state of the art labs… alright, alright, what you really want to hear about are the traditional Italian flavours from tiramisu to classic vaniglia. Scoop is also loved for its accompanying desserts including waffles, pancakes, brownies and churros. Other branches in Covent Garden and South Kensington.
Gelupo 7 Archer St, W1D 7AU (Piccadilly Circus tube)
The sister shop of famous Italian restaurant Bocca di Lupo in Soho, Gelupo maintains the same standard of taste and innovation. Stick to simple flavours like coconut or pistachio or be more adventurous with popular Gelupo ice creams like Ricotta, Blood Orange Granita, Chocolate Sorbet or Apricot Crumble. The menu changes daily and is prepared fresh on site.
Harrods Ice Cream Parlour, 87-135 Brompton Road, Knightsbridge, SW1X 7XL (Knightsbridge tube)
After a busy day shopping at the iconic department store, stop for a well-deserved ice cream from Harrods Ice Cream Parlour on the 2nd floor. Thirteen traditional flavours of gelato and sorbet will keep everyone happy, anything from chocolate to pistachio. Don’t forget to budget time (and money) for a look in at the Harrods Toy Kingdom and/or the Disney Boutique.
Gelatorino, 2 Russell Street, WC2B 5JD (Covent Garden tube)
Hanging out in Covent Garden? Don’t miss the opportunity to see the ‘gelataio’ (gelato masters) working the traditional machines at Gelatorino, churning out some of the finest, ice crystal-free gelato through the process known as ‘mantecazione’. The ‘pozzetti’ wells used to contain the gelato ensure freshness, so there’s no need for thickeners or colourings. Enjoy in cup, cone or their Gelato Biscuit sticks.
Snowflake Luxury Gelato, 43 Westbourne Grove W2 4UA (Westbourne Park tube)
Snowflake recently launched an ice cream station at Selfridges, but if you want the real deal head to Westbourne Grove. Loved by critics, one describing their extra dark chocolate sorbet to as ‘Agent Provocateur of the Tongue’, Snowflake’s motivation is simply to ’ erve Happiness’. Indulge in handcrafted, all natural gelato in 50+ flavours, from kid-friendly Vanilla, Oreo, or Mint Chocolate to including eccentric combos like Popcorn and Sea Salted Caramel. Also available at Snowflake Selfridges, Soho, Chelsea, Bayswater and Edgware Rd.
Fentons, 127 Bayswater Road W2 4RH (Queensway/Bayswater tube)
Shake it, baby. Fentons is a retro styled milkshake and ice cream bar, that piles on the comfort food with swirly hot chocolates, syrup-drenched waffles, and 55 flavours of ice cream from creme brûlée to their special Route 55 sundaes. Go for deliciously creamy gelato, malts and shakes thick enough to make your ears ache… and beg for more. Also at Westfield Stratford.
Gelato Mio, 138 Holland Park Avenue, W11 4UE (Notting Hill Gate tube)
The short and sweet history of Gelato Mio begins with its launch at Holland Park in July 2008, and continues with multiple locations around London. The Gelato Mio magic works around 13 staple flavours, and numerous seasonal varieties of ice cream plus succulent sorbets including lemon, blueberry and watermelon. Super refreshing after a summery romp through Holland Park. Other locations: Notting Hill, St John’s Wood, Muswell Hill, Fulham.
Oddono’s, 14 Bute Street SW7 3EX (South Kensington tube)
From its original Bute St HQ, to multiple locations across town, Oddono’s has been scooping out award-winning gelato and sorbets for west London residents for more than a decade. The classic Bacio (it means kiss) is made with chocolate and hazelnut treats melted into the ice cream just like they do back in Italy. Their motto is ‘life’s too short to eat bad ice cream’ — we wholeheartedly agree! A lovely stop en route to the South Ken museum triple bill (Science Museum, Natural History Museum, V&A Museum). Also available in Chiswick, Hampstead, Battersea, East Dulwich, Hackney and through Firezza pizza branches.
Four Winters, 103 Gloucester Rd, SW7 4SZ, South Kensington (Gloucester Rd tube)
One of the newest ice cream parlours in town, Four Winters aims for the ‘freshest, smoothest ice cream in the world’, going for ambitious flavours and toppings, from Pina Colada to Afternoon Tea (infused with real clotted cream, strawberry jam and buttery scones). They whip it up one cup at a time and maintain wintery conditions indoors, making this a great spot to cool off on a sweltering summer afternoon.
Foubert’s in Chiswick, 2 Turnham Green Terrace, London W4 1QP (Turnham Green/Chiswick Park tube)
The family run parlour is an absolute favourite with the locals, as well as Londoners and ice cream crawlers who trek there from across the city and beyond. The homemade apple pie is highly rated but it’s the authentic gelato that draws the highest praise, with queues around the block on hot days. And it won’t freeze a hole in your pocket either!
South & South West London
Dri Dri, Chelsea Farmers Market, 125 Sydney St, SW3 6NR (South Kensington tube)
Junk-free gelato made from all natural ingredients sourced from different parts of the globe, made with love and an extra secret ingredient. Traditional Italian flavours (Bacio, Biscotto and more) with whole milk and white cane sugar to satisfy your sweet spot. Book the kids in for an ice cream party at home (the cart will come to you), or a gelato-making workshop in the Dri Dri Academy.
Ice & Slice, 24 Jerdan Place, SW6 1BH, Fulham (Fulham Broadway tube)
The perfect combo to lure the babes down to Fulham, Ice & Slice does exactly what it says, offering homemade sourdough pizzas and gorgeous gelato for afters (or by itself). Come in for a cone or a tub, or if you’re local, they’ll deliver the pizza and ice cream straight to your door.
Nardulli, 29 The Pavement, Clapham Common, SW4 0JE (Clapham Common tube/Clapham Junction overground/rail)
Humbly touting itself as the best Italian ice cream in London, Nardulli serves up exquisite batches of the creamy goodness, plus fresh coffee and deli treats. Amidst the traditional selections, expect the unexpected such as Aftereight ice creams (yes, like the mints!) and Cardamom pod flavoured gelato. Pop in to cool off after a day on the Common.
Also try Sorbitium Ices, handmade ice creams and sorbets in exotic flavours, popping up at street food markets across town!
What is your favourite ice cream in London?